This Vinovest Review will help you learn more about Vinovest's investment offerings, including how the alternative investments on Vinovest are structured, and what your potential returns might be. You can read more about the criteria we use to review investment platforms here.
Vinovest is not, technically speaking, a “crowdfunding” platform. But many investors exploring crowdfunding and online alternative investments are looking for opportunities in exotic assets with a low market correlation. Vinovest makes investing in fine wines more accessible to everyday investors through an online platform that includes fully managed portfolios as well as a trading platform to buy and sell individual wines. They’ll even send you some of your wine to drink (insert joke here about liquidating your portfolio…).
Investors with more experience in fine wine investing (and more to invest) can choose their own portfolio, which Vinovest manages.
Vinovest recently implemented a referral program for investors to earn up to $500 for referring others to the platform.
Is Vinovest legit?
Yes, Vinovest is “legit” in the sense that it is a legitimate US business offering a legitimate alternative investment option to any investor over the age of 21. Fine wine is a legitimate alternative investment asset class, and there is ample historical price and performance data available.
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Types of investments Vinovest offers
Vinovest is an online platform for investing in actual bottles of fine wine, which Vinovest stores for you in a climate-controlled, secure and insured facility, which you are even invited to visit (you can also request photos).
Because wine is a new asset class for most Vinovest investors, they’ve recently revamped their onboarding to cater to those new to wine investing, including a video guide and more detailed information on each step of the wine investing process.
What do you get when investing with Vinovest?
Because you’re buying actual bottles of wine, there is no “security” type when investing on Vinovest. You own actual bottles of wine, and Vinovest adjusts their values based on current market conditions, which you can monitor online through the Vinovest platform.
How does Vinovest make money?
Vinovest charges an annual fee that covers buying/selling the wines in your portfolio, storage, insurance, and overall portfolio management. The fee depends on the amount you’ve invested with Vinovest:
- Standard. $1,000 minimum balance, 2.85% annual fee
- Plus. $10,000 minimum balance, 2.75% annual feee
- Premier. $50,000 minimum balance, 2.50% annual fee
- Grand Cru. $250,000 minimum balance, 2.25% annual fee
Higher tiers also feature additional benefits, including customized wine portfolios and invitations to wine tastings.
The Vinovest trading platform (for buying and selling individual bottles of wine) has a separate fee structure:
- 2.5% when buying a bottle, which includes 3 months of storage
- 1% when selling
- 1.5% annual storage fee, billed monthly
Potential returns and cashflow
There is no ongoing cashflow on investments made with Vinovest. Investors receive a return (if any) when they sell their wine. Vinovest also regularly rebalances your portfolio to match your stated risk profile. Investors can request their portfolio be liquidated (in whole or in part) at any time, though Vinovest says it typically takes 2-4 weeks to find buyers for all of the wine. (Buyers are not just other investors, but may be restaurants, hotel groups, importers, etc.)
Breadth of offerings on Vinovest
The primary offering from Vinovest is a managed portfolio of wines. Investors fill out a personalized quiz on what their risk/return profile is, how much they would like to invest, etc. and Vinovest constructs a diversified portfolio of wines and actively sources, stores, and insures the customer wines. Vinovest will also manage buy/sell recommendations. Here’s how Vinovest describes the sources of their wines:
We source our wines direct from wineries, global wine exchanges, and merchants. Because of this, we have better transparency into the market and will always buy and sell your wines at a fair market value.
Investors with some experience in fine wine investing can also construct their own portfolio, picking which wines they want to invest in. That option requires a higher minimum investment ($50K).
Regulatory framework and due diligence expectations
Because you’re purchasing actual bottles of wine, rather than a “security” (like a stock or a bond), the transaction is not governed by SEC rules as with most of the investment crowdfunding and online alternative investment platforms we review.
This review was first published on 22 February 2020, and last updated on 19 August 2022.